Edited by Shawn Syms
Tales told through texting. Pinterest prose, LinkedIn lit, irony over Instagram — or Facebook flash fiction. Digital media is now an inescapable facet of how we live, and it influences what and how we read and write. Today’s fiction not only incorporates emails, iPads and even good old MySpace into storylines, but also integrates interactive conventions into the actual form and structure of the work — creating hybrid forms in which a tweet or status update becomes a site for literary exploration.
Friend. Follow. Text is a short-fiction anthology that explores the intersection between social media and literature. This book brings together highly creative work whose content and form are inspired by social media—great, often funny writing that moves beyond using digital forms as mere gimmicks. The anthology showcases the work of a diverse range of contributors including Steven Heighton, Heather Birrell, Zoe Whittall, Greg Kearney and Jessica Westhead, with a mix of new writing alongside judiciously selected and underexposed reprints.
“Longing for connection – and the ineffable unhappiness that results – is an old phenomenon for the species, but the wild-ass speed that we now cycle through those states is damn unprecedented. Every new human experience demands a new language, and the stories in Friend. Follow. Text. take the brave steps toward that.” – Brian Joseph Davis, Creator of The Composites
SILVER MEDAL WINNER, Foreword International Award, Best Anthology 2014
“The use of social media allows for interesting structural choices with pieces using message board posts, IM conversations or Instagram photos to push the stories forward.” — Courtney Crowder, Chicago Tribune
“An impressive collection, with a number of stunning stories.” — Robert J. Wiersma, Quill & Quire
“Addictive… These engaging stories explore technology and its effects in interesting ways. Perhaps the greatest strength of the collection is its broad range… Syms has chosen an excellent and varied lineup.” — Keith Cadieux, Winnipeg Free Press
“A comprehensive exploration of all things online… For anyone striving to make sense of the experiences of ‘living online,’ Friend Follow Text is worth picking up.”
— Andrea Routley, Plenitude Magazine
“Stories inspired by… social media — tweets, emails, blogs, Facebook updates and the like…There is fun and novelty to be had.”
— Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star
“The inventive forms share experiences a majority of people relate to today… For those of us who use social media all the time, and those who would rather stay away, there is at least one piece to strike anyone’s chord.”
— Kristen Nathan, Chicago Literati